The Posters’ Factory

The Posters’ Factory is a work in progress research project that explores the use of Artificial Intelligence techniques in the poster design scenario. Currently, the outputs of this project are generated thought three computational poster design approaches: the Evolutionary Poster Composer; the Environmental Adaptative Poster Composer; and the Interactive Moving Poster Composer. Each approach explores different computational techniques and includes distinct kinds of data in the generation process. The generated outputs achieve a more interactive and participative relation with its audience. Also, these approaches may be powerful tools during the poster design processes, especially in the earliest and most exploratory stages of a design project.




Evolutionary Poster Composer

The Evolutionary Poster Composer approach experiments with (semi-)automatic evolutionary systems for generating and evolving letterpress-inspired typographical posters. Briefly, these systems interactively arrange a certain text, divided into text boxes, in order to fulfil a canvas. The input may be given by the user or gathered automatically using web APIs. Also, the system’s users may guide the evolutionary process according to their preferences and tastes. Figure 1 presents some example outputs.


evolutionary poster composer approach example outputs
Figure 1

Figure 1

Example output of the Evolutionary Poster Composer Approach using the content gathered from poster designed for the May 1968 protests (France) and the Coimbra’s Academic crisis of 1969 (Portugal).



Video 1

Example generation of a poster using content a the poster designed by Atelier Populaire “Usines, Universités, Union” (1968) and the typeface Titling Gothic FB, David Berlow (Font Bureau, 2005)

Figure 2


Due to this nature, the evolutionary approaches enable encapsulate the basic set of tasks and activities that often graphic designs perform on the working hours. This way, these approaches enable the creation of useful tools for graphic designers, especially in the earliest and most exploratory stages of a design project. The experiment in the development of an Evolutionary Poster (De)Composer is a clear example of this (figure 2). In this experiment, we employ an evolutionary approach similar to the before presented and, after, we misshapen the results using a basic pixel deformation algorithm.


evolutionary poster composer approach deformed example outputs
Figure 3

Figure 2

Example output generated by the Evolutionary Poster Composer Approach and, after, deformed by a pixel deformation algorithm.


You may find more information about the evolutionary poster composer approaches here



Environmental Adaptative Poster Composer

The Environmental Adaptive Poster Composer approach generates posters according to the state of the surroundings of a specific site. This way, these systems gather data from the surrounding environment (e.g. air temperature, current people near the installation, passers-by flux, level of light in the environment, etc.) and translate them in posters designs. In this process, direct and indirect environmental reading techniques (such as Context-Aware Data and Computer Vision) are employed to read the environment and assess the outputs generated. Also, these systems learn, over time, how to generate outputs optimised to the environment where it is placed. They achieve this analysing its previous designs and the interaction which they triggered in people in the environment.


enviromental adaptative poster composer example outputs
Figure 4

Figure 3

Example outputs of the Adaptative Poster Computer Approach generated during its installation in Coimbra Historical Centre during the 21st Cultural Week of University of Coimbra


An Environmental Adaptive Poster Composer has installed and tested in four stores of Coimbra Historical Centre, during four weeks (11 March – 2 April 2019). During this time, we did can understand their behaviour and analyse its outputs. The placement of this installation was aligned with the event Caminhos: 21st Cultural Week of the University of Coimbra.


Video 2

Example outputs designed by the system over its installation in the Coimbra Historical Centre

Figure 5


You may find more information about the Enviromental Adaptative Poster Composer approaches here.



Interactive Moving Poster Composer

The Interactive Moving Poster approach enables the design of interactive moving posters, i.e. posters that enables the audience to shape themselves based on their physical gestures and behaviour. This way, these systems always present and generate different outputs according to the interaction of its audience. In these approaches, computer vision techniques, context-aware data and physical computing are used to read the behaviour of the audience and to enable their communication with the generative system that designs the posters.

Currently, two systems using an Interactive Moving Poster approach are presented. The first one (2017) enables the audience to control the position of the shapes using their face. Also, context-aware data (meteorological data) to define the colours employed on the poster.


Example outputs of a Interactive Moving Poster
Figure 6

Figure 4

Example outputs of an Interactive Moving Poster where the viewer controls the position of each shape with their faces.



Video 3

Typical beaviour of a Interactive Moving Poster

Figure 7


Also, we lecture the workshop Electric Design (July 2019) where the participant designed interactive moving posters using a previously developed library that translated data gathered from the physical environment, captured using multiple sensors, in visual transformations on posters designs.



Video 4

Moving Poster design designed with the library created to Electric Design workshop, displaying a possible way of the environmental data affect the poster design.

Figure 8


You may find more information about the Interactive Moving Poster Approaches here.




On News

Desenhar Cartazes pela Baixa de Coimbra na Semana Cultural, Notícias UC (12nd March 2019, in Portuguese)
Baixa de Coimbra Acolhe Criação Digital de Cartazes, Rádio Universidade de Coimbra (19th March 2019, in Portuguese)


Exibhitions and Installations

Poster Factory. In: Interactive Video Installations Exibhitions of Golden bee 14 (un)real Global Biennale of Graphic Design
Experiments in the Development of Typographical Posters. In: Exhibition of the 6th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X (XCoAx 2018). Centro arte computulense, Madrid, Spain.
Evolutionary Poster Composer. In: Processing Community Day Porto 2019. Faculty of Fine Arts of University of Porto, Portugal.
Digital Poster (De)Composer. In: Mostra Nacional Jovens Criadores 2018. Nova BSE, Oeiras, Portugal.
Desenhar cartazes com/para o Caminho. Interactive Installation at Coimbra Historic Centre. Caminhos: 21st Cultural Week of the University of Coimbra. 11th March–4 April 2019, Coimbra, Portugal.
The Poster’s Factory. In: Y, Designing Portugal – Projects by National Design Schools. Porto Design Bienalle 2019. 22th November—23 February 2020, Galeria Municipal Matosinhos, Portugal.



  • S. Rebelo, C. M. Fonseca, J. Bicker, and P. Machado, “Evolutionary Experiments in the Development of Typographical Posters,” in 6th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X, Madrid, Spain (xCoAx 2018), 2018, pp. 65-75.

  • S. Rebelo, P. Martins, J. Bicker, and P. Machado, “Using Computer Vision Techniques for Moving Poster Design,” in ETD 17 — 6th Ergotrip Design: proceedings Book, Aveiro, Portugal, 2017.

  • S. Rebelo, C. Pires, P. Martins, J. Bicker, and P. Machado, “Designing Posters Towards a Seamless Integration in Urban Surroundings: A Computational Approach,” in Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Digital and Interactive Arts, New York, NY, USA, 2019.

  • S. Rebelo, J. Bicker, and P. Machado, “Evolutionary Experiments in Typesetting of Letterpress-Inspired Posters,” in Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Computational Creativity, September 7–11, 2020, 2020.